With China and the U.S. now embroiled in a trade skirmish over green energy subsidies, questions have been raised about the overall economic benefits of this taxpayer expense.

The trade fight is “indicative of the broader U.S. subsidy debate” which leaves U.S. manufacturers open to retaliation by other nations, creates uncertainty in global, and wastes government money, writes Scott Lincicome, an international trade attorney with White & Case, LLP and author of a new study published by the libertarian Cato Institute.

“The U.S. government’s subsidization of specific companies and enterprises subjects U.S. exports—and U.S. trade and subsidy policy more broadly—to scrutiny and potential retaliation by other WTO members in the form of CVDs or suspended concessions via a WTO dispute,” writes Lincicome.

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